Exploding out of
Brighton, the five piece Bone Orchard were one of the many early Goth outfits owing a massive debt to the musical legacy left behind by the Birthday Party.
The Jack LP however, represents something quite different from their releases before (Stuffed to the Gills EP - Jungle Records, 1983) or since (Penthouse Poultry - Vax Records, 1985). The Birthday Party influence is still obviously there, but in this case it takes a back seat. The extra instrumentation of strings, piano and saxophone makes Jack something quite exceptional and much more musically sophisticated and subtle than the group’s usual psycho-billy adventures; “Jack”, “
Marianne” and “Five Days in the Neighbourhood” all writhing pieces steeped in ambient lounge-like jazz influences, although what kind of lounge would play such things exists only in our nightmares and perhaps in the imagination of David Lynch.
A work of grotesque beauty - Jack 7" (Jungle Records, 1984)
Jack remains an astonishingly forgotten cornerstone in what would eventually become known as Dark Cabaret.
Somewhere, there exists a parallel universe where Goth continued in this sort of experimentation instead of succumbing to rock excess. Unfortunately, it wasn’t this one. Nevermind, we can always revel in nostalgia – after all, as the song “Tongue” would observe; “there’s nothing like talking with the dead to cheer you up”.
5. Five Days in the Neigbourhood
6. Girl with a Gun
8. Scarlett Ropes
Terrifying both vocally and visually - Chrissy McGee
Line Up: Chrissy McGee (vocals), Mark Horse (guitar), Troy Tyro (guitar), Paul Hendrickson (bass), Ben Tisdall (drums), session musicians on piano, violin, cello & saxophone.